The thickness of a watch plays a pivotal role in how it would wear on the wrist and is exactly why there is so much noise regarding making a watch thinner. The battle for supremacy in slimness got hotter when Audemars Piguet showcased the Royal Oak #RD2 concept watch during SIHH 2018. Sporting an overall thickness of a mere 6.30mm the watch went ahead to become the slimmest self-winding perpetual calendar around. And now Audemars Piguet has introduced the production variant of the #RD2 concept in the form of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
The Audemars Piguet RD#2 presented at SIHH 2018
As the name suggests the real highlight of this new watch is its super thin case profile. Having a diameter of 41mm and a thickness of 6.3mm this watch retains the dimensions of the #RD2 concept and has been designed to slide effortlessly under those cuffs. Further to that, the titanium construction would ensure that the watch is lightweight and would sit comfortably on the wrist for a prolonged duration. Visually the case is strictly Royal Oak with a beautifully finished angular case with an octagonal bezel on top. There is a sapphire crystal on both the front as well as the back and the case is water resistant to 20 meters supported by a threaded crown at 3.
To achieve surrealistic thinness of this watch, Audemars Piguet went ahead to create a new movement. The caliber 5133 that powers this watch is just 2.89 mm thick and to make this happen the brand implemented some clever innovations. For instance, the perpetual calendar functions which normally exist on three different levels has been merged into a single layer which is only .35mm thick. Also, the end of the month cam has been integrated into the date wheel whilst the month cam has been combined into the month wheel. As a result of all this and more, the brand was able to bring the number of components on the caliber 5133 down to 256 as opposed to 374 parts found on the caliber 5134 another automatic perpetual calendar movement from Audemars Piguet. The 5133 operates at a frequency of 2.75 Hz and offers a power reserve of 40 hours.
The dial on this watch has been rendered in a beautiful subtle shade of blue and has been vertically brushed to give it some additional character. Covering the outer periphery of the dial is a printed minute track and applied hour markers which combined along with the baton-style handset have been filled with luminous paint to aid low light visibility. Moving inwards you have the perpetual calendar layout which has presented with the help of several subdials. Placed at 12 is a moon phase display, followed by the month and leap year at 3, date at 6 and finally day of the week and day/night display at 9. Overall the dial does look a little busy but Audemars Piguet has done a great job of keeping it highly legible.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is a great looking dress watch that is ready to take on those board room meetings. The watch would come attached to an integrated brushed titanium bracelet and would retail at a price of CHF 140,000.